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June 28, 2023

Tobias Harris has misplaced anger at 'casual' Sixers fans

Tobias Harris took shots at 'casual' Sixers fans who want to trade him. Shamus Clancy shares his frustration with this organization overall.

After another laughable second-round exit in a lifetime chock-full of them, the last thing I really wanted to hear from any member of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise was random strays attacking Sixers fans. What did I open my phone to see after dinner on Tuesday night? Tobias Harris at some Fanatics event at the Wells Fargo Center getting up in arms about people wanting him to be traded and his burgeoning cookie empire:

Here's a transcription of what Harris said when asked about his ongoing trade speculation:

Casual Sixers fans, they'll trade me for a Crumbl Cookie. But at the end of the day, they have to realize, like, you know, you're not getting a 6'9" forward back who can damn near shoot 40 percent from three, guard other teams' best player, shoot, post-up, drive, play 70-plus games per year.

I'm reading this on Tuesday thinking to myself, "What the hell is a Crumbl Cookie?" It turns out that Harris owns several Crumbl Cookie franchises throughout the area. If I'm indulging in some empty calories and possibly regretting the decision later, I'm going for Oreos easily, but I'll take the cookies and throw them out at my next party and hope someone else eats them if it means this loser-fied roster gets a shakeup. 

I've always hated the "casual" fan branding, too. I'm obviously someone who was clearly an insane fan before my professional journalism days and people don't actually need to dedicate their entire mental energy at the behest of their psychological health as I had done and loads of fans currently do. They're lesser Sixers fans because they're not watching Wednesday night 10:30 p.m. games in Sacramento? They're watching the games that matter, Tobias: the playoffs, where this team, on an annual basis, turns into a pumpkin. 

I wrote a half-praising, half-back-handed column about Harris early during the 2023 postseason, penning a story entitled, "Tobias Harris finally has his signature Sixers moment." It says a lot about him that his signature moment was 25 points in a Saturday afternoon win in the lesser of New York City's two basketball arenas when the other team's leading scorer was Spencer Dinwiddie. Harris followed that up with 12.4 points per game on a crispy 25.9 percent from three in a seven-game loss to the Celtics. "Mr. 40 Percent From Three," everyone! Where can you find a guy who can do that except on every NBA bench throughout the league?

Imagine Jason Kelce or Jalen Hurts or Malcom Jenkins or Bryce Harper ever complaining about "casual" fans of their respective teams after playoff disappointment and inevitable roster talk. Look inward for a change! Those guys get it and it's so utterly simple to appease this city. The professional sports teams in this town should pay a rando like the guy recapping the I-95 collapse or a person who sells pretzels outside Citizens Bank Park to spend an hour with new players to just tell them what playing in this city is like. 

It's easy to give a s**t, yet the prevailing feeling I get year after year from this Sixers organization is that from the top of the ownership down to the players, that level of giving does not reach the output that persists throughout the Philadelphia region as a whole.

I'm just sick of this team, honestly. They've soured me on basketball itself, which had a stranglehold as my favorite sport to watch, Philadelphia teams or otherwise, from the middle of high school to my mid-20s. I'm sick of fake stars complaining about the fans. I'm sick of the president of basketball operations of all people tweeting memes about free agency rumors. I'm sick of the owner buying a sports team in every professional league out there instead of trying to put all his energy into winning a single championship. I'm sick of seeing the Celtics beat them. I'm sick of watching the Dallas Cowboys of the NBA garner buzz all offseason and during the regular season only to get punched in the mouth come the playoffs. 

Can Eagles training camp start already?

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